It is abundantly clear that Donald Trump, America’s first reality TV game show host to serve as president, learned everything he knows about communications from his shallow experience in the world of television. Everything he says – whether good news or bad – has the stench of a sleazy infomercial. And Trump pumps out his propaganda as if he’s peddling Sham-Wow rags to the trailer park crowd.
On Friday morning Trump held what he called a press conference, although he left after making a statement and took no questions at all. He greeted the press corps with strange praise saying that “I noticed you’re starting to get much closer together. Looks much better.” What Trump failed to mention was that the chairs were originally arranged in compliance with social distancing guidance, but before the press arrived Trump’s staff rearranged them to put everyone closer together, and more at risk. Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Trump only crawled out from his bunker to crow about a new set of jobs numbers indicating that some of the millions of Americans who became unemployed due his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic had returned to work. Trump presented this data as a “Mission Accomplished” moment, despite the fact that the unemployment rate is still at historic highs (13.1%) and more than 20 million Americans are still not working. And in a bizarre conflation of concepts, Trump praised the economic news as somehow being beneficial to George Floyd, the African-American man who was murdered by police last week. Trump beamed that…
“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”
Really? Even if the jobs numbers are accurate (and with the Trump administration that’s a risky assumption), the unemployment rate for whites declined from 14.2% to 12.4%. But for African-Americans it rose from 16.7% to 16.8%. What a great day for George.
UPDATE: As it turns out, there was a huge miscalculation in the unemployment rate. The real number is closer to 20%, which is near a record high and is what analysts predicted.
Earlier in the day, Trump displayed a measure of anxiety in his standard way: by firing off a frantic tweetstorm. This is how he lets the world know when he’s scared, planting himself on his Twitter throne and blasting out an incoherent stream of invective and flagrant distortions of reality (aka lies). And on Friday morning Trump was busy not being president as he rattled off a record 131 posts on Twitter. Most of them (115) were retweets of Republican senators. And most of those were promoting 13 of the senators running for reelection in competitive races. Some of the most at-risk GOP senators who got shout-outs from Trump were Martha McSally (AZ), Tom Cotton (AR), Cory Gardner (CO), and Thom Tillis (NC). Eighteen others were either in close races or held safe Republican seats. Democrats only need four seats to flip to take control of the Senate.
For some reason Trump didn’t bother to help out his pals Mitch McConnell (KY) or Lindsey Graham (SC), who are both facing strong Democratic challengers. He also left out Susan Collins (ME), who is struggling survive, and Kelly Loeffler (GA), who is embroiled in an insider trading scandal.
The bottom line is that Trump wouldn’t cough up more than a hundred tweets featuring senators running for reelection five months before election day – and during an ongoing pandemic – and while there is nationwide civil unrest – unless he was worried about losing both the presidency and the Republican majority in the Senate. If he is worried, it may be the first thing he’s gotten right in three and a half years. The likelihood of Democratic victories for the Senate and the White House increase every day as Trump’s failures drive his approval ratings ever lower. and his toxicity is rubbing off on his party confederates. At some point they are going to flee like the proverbial rats that they are. And that will leave Trump all alone and trembling in his bunker.
UPDATE: Today Trump hit a new record of a staggering 195 tweets (including 161 retweets) in a single day. That’s About one tweet every four minutes for 13.5 hours.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.